Latest and Greatest Employment Law Cases

Presented by: Ann Smisek

SmisekIn this program, participants will learn the latest case law developments in employment law and how they impact employers. We will review recent court decisions addressing alleged discrimination based on sex, religion, race, age and disability, as well as cases concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and the National Labor Relations Act. Topics of discussion include:
• the EEOC’s expanded interpretation of sex discrimination
• off-duty use of employer-issued cell phones
• recent interpretations of “serious health condition” and “adult child” under the FMLA
• employees’ right to use work email system under the NLRA

Learning objectives for this session include:

  • Expand participants’ understanding of the latest interpretations of civil rights laws
  • Inform participants on how certain employee handbook policies may be in violation of the NLRA
  • Advise participants on how to address FMLA requests to care for adult children

Ann is an attorney at Ahlers & Cooney law firm in Des Moines. She is a member of the firm’s Employment & Labor Law and K-12 Education practice areas, and primarily represents cities, counties and school districts. Ann counsels clients on various personnel matters relating to labor issues and collective bargaining. She also advises clients on discipline and discharge, civil rights complaints, and compliance with other applicable state and federal laws and regulations. She also reviews employment policies and handbooks to provide recommendations on legal compliance and best practices.

Prior to Ahlers & Cooney, she served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (IPERB). In addition to serving as a hearing officer on cases, she handled administrative appeals before the district court, Iowa Court of Appeals and Iowa Supreme Court regarding negotiability disputes. She also acted as a mediator to help settle cases and assist in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements. Prior to the IPERB and upon graduation from law school, she worked 3-1/2 years as a Judicial Law Clerk for former Chief Judge Rosemary Shaw Sackett at the Iowa Court of Appeals.

Ann grew up in Mitchellville, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1999 with a B.A. in English, and began her career in scientific publishing. She then attended the University of Iowa College of Law, served on the Iowa Law Review, and received her Juris Doctor in 2007 with honors.

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